The United States Supreme Court has stopped President Joe Biden from having his agencies enforce his vaccine mandate for employees of businesses that have more than 100 workers.
The mandate, which came from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, forced everyone to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask during work hours.
But the court allowed the Biden Administration to enforce the Covid vaccination mandate on most health care workers. the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.
“The Solicitor General does not dispute that OSHA is limited to regulating “work-related dangers.” Response Brief for OSHA in No. 21A244 etc., p. 45 (OSHA Response). She instead argues that the risk of contracting COVID–19 qualifies as such a danger. We cannot agree. Although COVID– 19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most. COVID–19 can and does spread at home, in schools, during sporting events, and everywhere else that people gather. That kind of universal risk is no different from the day-to-day dangers that all face from crime, air pollution, or any number of communicable diseases. Permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization,” the decision says.
“Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category,” the majority concluded.
At the same time, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S. Only those that don’t receive federal funds are exempt from the mandate, an exemption that applies primarily to concierge doctors who see the wealthiest people in America and accept no Medicare or Medicaid patients.
The court issued the orders on Friday, with the court’s conservatives saying the Administration has overstepped its authority.
Read the court order here. The vote in the employer mandate case was 6 to 3, with liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan dissenting.
Read the court decision on the healthcare worker mandate here.
The vote in the health care case was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh joining Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan in the majority.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.